Jonah: If amnesty were likely to be a tightly run project, with stringent standards and in-depth examination of the background of each individual applicant, absent any political pressure to cut corners, and merely the final step in a long, muscular, process of regaining credibility in immigration enforcement, then yes, objecting to it just because of the possibility that one terrorist might talk his way through would indeed be desperate.
But it’s not.
Take the Abouhalima brothers, amnestied terrorists from last time around, whom I mentioned in my posting. The problem was not just that Mohammed Abouhalima was not deported after his fraudulent amnesty application was rejected, but that no one was deported after being rejected. The problem with his brother, Mahmoud the Red, was not just that he got a green card by lying about being a farm worker, but that hundreds of thousands of people did that.
In other words, our lax immigration system gives terrorists cover (there are dozens of other examples, involving marriage fraud, identity fraud, illegal employment, etc., etc., etc.). On the other hand, vigorous immigration enforcement, across the board, would dramatically complicate life for terrorists.